Do not touch at school holidays !

@topffer (30685)
France
October 20, 2017 8:34am CST
Children will be in holidays for two weeks this evening in France, and I heard this morning a radio talk show with many parents complaining that two weeks were too much as they were working and could not take care of them. I was tempted to call to tell them what I am thinking of their attitude : they are bad parents ! School work is very hard in France : children have 24 hr of classes/week in elementary school, 26 hr in junior school and 28 hr in high school ! What adult would be able to digest 28 hours of classes ? Not me ! These children need to have breaks to stay healthy, and they have been optimally calculated for them : 7 weeks of classes, 2 weeks of holidays, 7 weeks of classes, 2 etc. Parents complaining that they cannot be present and have no money to send their children in holidays are selfish scum, child-beaters, they should not use the money of their family allowances to buy tobacco and alcohol, but use it for the well-being of their children ! They have to be responsible : nobody forces people to have children, if you make one, you have not only to assume and take care of him, but to want the best for him, and children are needing these holidays ! I am sure that if they were looking a bit more around them, they would find a grandparent happy to welcome a child for two weeks of holidays. There are also cheap activity centers where they can do a lot of interesting things for them when there parents are at work. And what about a bit of sport ? I have no children, but I can be very eloquent to defend their cause, and I am very sensitized to the observance of school holidays like they have been fixed, after careful consideration for their well-being. Radio stations should not let talk irresponsible parents. So, starting tomorrow we will have two weeks of school holidays and it should not be discussed, period. Alright, I admit that it is a real happiness for somebody like me living in a street hosting 2 high schools and a professional school not far. I already savor that : I will not be wake up at 7 am by the cars and kids in the street, I will hear no talks and screams in the street during the day, no more parties in the neighboring houses occupied by students, less noise during the night in the street... I take up this cause like if it was mine, and I can tell honestly : do not touch at MY school holidays !
16 people like this
17 responses
@LadyDuck (122261)
• Switzerland
20 Oct
I fully agree with you, if people decide to have children they must take care of them. Unfortunately for many it's not very different than buying a puppy for Christmas and then saying they cannot take care of the animal when it's summer vacation time. Students need those vacations. When I was a student we only had the 15 days around Christmas. We had 28 hours of lessons a week plus the homework. I know we were exhausted.
6 people like this
@topffer (30685)
• France
20 Oct
I had also 28 hours at elementary school and 30 at junior school, but only 26 in high school. I am sure they are exhausted and I am also exhausted : between the closing of cafés and restaurants at 2 am and the kids/teens in the street, I have only 4 or 5 hours where I can expect to sleep. We all need these 2 weeks of holidays. I exaggerated a bit in the discussion, but when I heard a woman telling that she had 4 children and could not take care of them during 2 weeks of holidays, it made me angry : she knew since the end of summer that these 2 weeks of holidays would be there on October, so she had enough time to find some activities for her children. It is not a problem with the education system, it is a problem with her.
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (122261)
• Switzerland
20 Oct
@topffer I fully agree with you. I have the feeling that back in time parents were a lot less complicated and also children.
2 people like this
@topffer (30685)
• France
20 Oct
@LadyDuck Children are more sneaky than we were, but it is difficult to compare : the times were better, everybody was sure to get a job, parents had more money...
2 people like this
@josie_ (5134)
• Philippines
20 Oct
School children have it easy today. Too many holidays and the computer. When I was in my elementary school days we attended classes 8 hours from Monday to Friday. On Saturday morning we have our physical education class for an hour. Sunday wasn't any much fun either because of the assignments we have to complete for the following Monday.
5 people like this
@topffer (30685)
• France
20 Oct
Are you telling me that you had 40 hours of classes/week without any break during the week ? And you are still alive ! We had no school on Thursday when I was in elementary school, it is the Wednesday now in France.
2 people like this
@josie_ (5134)
• Philippines
20 Oct
@topffer _I studied in a school whose affiliation was with the Kuomintang gov't in Taiwan. This was in the early sixties when China's communist govt was not recognize by most of the countries in the UN. They had an English dept. in the morning and a Chinese dept. in the afternoon. In the morning we studied English, World history, geography, math, arts and in the afternoon we studied practically the same subjects but in Chinese and with Chinese instructors.
2 people like this
@topffer (30685)
• France
20 Oct
@josie_ I did not knew that you were Chinese. I do not see really the interest if it was twice the same in 2 different languages, but I like the idea to learn a foreign language at elementary school, it is a + for the future. There are a few schools doing this in France, but it is not a common practice. Elementary school is also 6 hours/day here, but there are no classes on Wednesday : 6x4=24.
1 person likes this
@franxav (3732)
20 Oct
We re already having long holidays in schools, perhaps they should cut down some of it. I know many teachers and students will oppose this idea.
4 people like this
@topffer (30685)
• France
20 Oct
And I will support them although I am not a teacher or a student. The academic pace has to be respected for the well-being of children.
4 people like this
@YrNemo (8633)
20 Oct
Controversy topic! the for and against...
3 people like this
@topffer (30685)
• France
20 Oct
I see only for on my side : I am not a specialist of education, and I trust what the specialists have decided for the well-being of children.
2 people like this
@YrNemo (8633)
20 Oct
@topffer Of course, the kids need their school break desperately, but parents are also under the pressure of work commitments & the pressure of the boss etc. Workplaces don't stop functioning every time the schools having a break, and if parents don't work, then they can't pay the bills. Not all grandparents want to have anything to do with grandchildren. They have their own lives, and can't understand why they should be bothered. I lost a job once when I asked to stay home to take care of the kids during their school holiday. Have to admit, I didn't care much for that job so it was not a great lost. (I was glad actually! )
2 people like this
@topffer (30685)
• France
20 Oct
@YrNemo I know the times were better when I was a child than today : 1 salary was often enough for a family and many women were not working, there was no unemployment so being fired was not a big problem, the future was bright for children. When I hear the music of today, I realize also how great was the music when I was a kid/teen : the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, ACDC, Pink Floyd... All are mythicals groups, and nothing better has been released since them.
1 person likes this
@Kandae11 (27099)
20 Oct
Seven weeks of classes, two weeks of holidays sounds reasonable enough to me. I doubt it is a system suddenly foisted on parents - you know it is going to happen , you plan for it.
3 people like this
@topffer (30685)
• France
20 Oct
There was only 1 week of holidays in October before 2012, and since 2012 I hear some parents complaining every year in October to return to 1 week of holidays only with arguments like "if it was good enough for me, it is good enough for my children".
3 people like this
@DaddyEvil (22403)
• United States
20 Oct
I agree, Top! If their parents were man/woman enough to have children, then they should be man/woman enough to care for their children as children need to be cared for! The parents KNEW these holidays were approaching! Why did they not take a few dollars each paycheck and put them aside so they were able to afford to hire a babysitter or pay for activities and supervision for their children? That is just irresponsible of the parents! I am sure you thought first of the children and not of the missing noise and disturbances during the two weeks holiday! (I am being serious. I will harpoon you over something else!)
2 people like this
@topffer (30685)
• France
20 Oct
I should not tell it, but the state gives a lot of family allowances in France for families with 3 or more children, and some people with low income are increasing it by making children, it is called "zipper money". I would not tell that they do not take care of their children, but when summer holidays are coming the money is gone, and the state pays also a part of their family holidays or holidays for their children, so they usually never take a few dollars on each paycheck... The system encourages that, as without these families with many children we would have nobody to pay for our retirement pensions in the future. I would not tell that there are not some people with comfortable income having many children because they love children. Indeed, they exist, and these ones are using their family allowances only for their children, not to buy a new tv, and are never complaining. And for the rest, I thought at both : I share common interest with children here.
1 person likes this
@DaddyEvil (22403)
• United States
20 Oct
@topffer You have mentioned "zipper money" before, Top. (It is okay, I won't tell anyone if you don't!) OH! I had wondered before why your government was supporting these larger families. I guess that makes sense, but hope that doesn't catch on in other countries! The world is already too crowded. We need to reduce population, not encourage it! I am sure those who are doing the allowances the way your government hoped they would are by far the minority, though... SMH!
1 person likes this
@topffer (30685)
• France
22 Oct
@DaddyEvil Europe is lacking of babies. It is the reason why Germany welcomed 1.5 million immigrants in 2015. With these allowances France is one of the only European countries that maintains its number of inhabitants. A couple doing a baby every 2 years can manage to live on the allowances (and other money given by the state). They are perhaps not the smartest people, but school and college studies being free in France, their children have the same opportunities in life than any other children...
@Corbin5 (81872)
• United States
20 Oct
Working parents should have planned ahead to arrange care for their children when school holidays are on the calendar. Those school holidays really are a benefit to children. And, those of us who teach now, or have taught, really looked forward to those school holidays too. The holidays provided time for kids and teachers to recharge and return refreshed to school.
2 people like this
@topffer (30685)
• France
24 Oct
I also think that parents have enough time to be prepared to face these holidays, as the academic calendar is known before the beginning of the school year. And if they cannot pay holidays to their children, we have a lot of activity centers, at least in cities, and they are very cheap (the amount for 1 day cannot exceed 10 Euros and is based on the income of the parents). I have several friends teaching, and they also need these holidays.
1 person likes this
• Pamplona, Spain
20 Oct
Spanish School children have a lot of holidays all the time. Their Summer holidays start in the middle of June and they don´t go back till September 7th or ninth maybe depending on what day of the week it is. They also overload them with too much Homework.
1 person likes this
@topffer (30685)
• France
20 Oct
We had more summer holidays when I was a kid than today. At this time, a joke was telling that the 3 best reasons to become a teacher were July, August and September. Summer holidays have been reduced several times to put more holidays during the year. For example, before 2012 there was only 1 week of holidays in October. I think the pace is better now, even if some parents do not like these weeks of holidays during the year when they are at work. Out of topic : I have read that Carles has been a good boy, and will stay quiet as long as he will be able to keep his power toy.
1 person likes this
• Pamplona, Spain
20 Oct
@topffer Good for him. Him and his power toy can go for a long walk off..... Ahem, well in England we never have had more than Six weeks holidays and here holidays have always been extended for any reason. It was okay before when the kiddies did not have so much home work as what they do now. I find some of them pasty looking and tired from being indoors too much. Too much work and little play makes for a very sad child. A lot of business is being lost in Spain because of all the ongoing problem and I feel for the innocent people who have nothing to to do with all of that silly game. Sorry tops just the way I feel at the moment.
1 person likes this
@topffer (30685)
• France
20 Oct
@lovinangelsinstead21 Yes, it turns to a disaster for many people due to the number of companies that have left since the beginning of this month. He has managed to ruin Catalonia and has been forced to turn back, I heard that the Generalidad will perhaps not be able to pay public servants.
1 person likes this
@much2say (35424)
• United States
20 Oct
I love school holidays. This is the time that I can spend time - whole days - with my kids and go find an adventure. But we are fortunate that I can be the stay-at-home mom to do this . . . we don't have to make any sort of schedule arrangements for anyone to take care of them. I know many parents who dread it - even other stay-at-home moms who love their me-time when their kids are off to school . . . so many have no idea what to do to occupy their kids for when they are out of school. I enjoy having the kids home, personally - I can think of a lot of ways to enjoy family time! That being said, out here I honestly think kids have too much time off from school. They get too many minimal/partial days and too many odd extra days off that we never got off when we were kids. It all equates to about only half a year of school/education. I don't think kids are being taught in the best way here . . . we are too busy focusing on catching up with the rest of the world that kids are losing something in their education - yet they are plenty stressed. Something is off balance here.
1 person likes this
@topffer (30685)
• France
20 Oct
The school level is approximately the same in USA and France. I have found a 2012 classification done on 15 years teens for maths, understanding of writing and sciences, and the 3 best were Shangai, Hong-Kong and Singapore. France was 25 for maths, 21 for understanding of writing and 26 for sciences. USA was 36 for maths, 24 for understanding of writing and 28 for sciences. Japan was 7th, 4th, 4th. The best pupils are all in Asia. There were a lot of stay-at-home moms in France in the 1960's, but now it is quite a luxury, as an average young couple would hardly be able to live on only 1 salary. And perhaps also because many women prefer to have a job than to stay at home. It is a pity if you ask me : a child needs a mother, and mine played an important role in the choice that I made for my profession. If she had not been a stay-at-home mom forcing me to visit museums and archeological sites that I did not wanted to visit when I was a toddler, I would probably have chosen a different profession. She was not satisfied by my choice, but the choice was her fault. I am pleased to read that you enjoy your family time with your children.
1 person likes this
@much2say (35424)
• United States
20 Oct
@topffer Now that surprises me that the levels were sort of close (except for math) as of 2012. We are currently learning under the Common Core curriculum (math in particular which is ridiculous) - and it would not surprise me if the levels have gone done since. Asia does do well - for whatever reason in the household there is a sense that one must do their absolute best. We joke about that here, but in a sense it is mostly true! Even the schools that have more Asians here do quite well - statistic wise anyway! Being a stay-at-home mom is a luxury here too - especially where we live. And yes, many women who do work that I talk to say it's easier to be at work than to deal with their children. And some do not have a choice. We are not the richest people, but Hubby and I decided that it would best for me to tend to the kids while they are still very young . . . and I am quite happy I have been able to be here for them. I can always work after they have their own lives . . . but until then it is up to me to set up their foundations in life. That is wonderful that your mom did that for you . . . and I completely understand the influences she's had on you. I think that's why my kids gravitate towards an open, artful/creative outlook too!
1 person likes this
@topffer (30685)
• France
20 Oct
@much2say I read that we were down 3 places from 2009 to 2012 for maths. The level has gone constantly down since a century. When I had my baccalauréat (the diploma at the end of high school here), I remember a teacher telling us that we were in the cultivated part of the population, because only 40% of people had it. At this time it was possible to get a job with this diploma. Now quite all teens are reaching this level and 88% have it. To reach this score, there is no secret, they lowered the level (no more Latin mandatory during a year, less Philosophy...) and suppressed the intermediate diploma that we were having at 15 years old to enter in high school. But it creates a big problem : the baccalauréat is the diploma needed to enter in college. With all teens having it, there is no more places available in many colleges, at least in the most wanted. The selection method chosen by the state has not been to select the best students according to their school results, we are not in Asia, but, "for equality of chances", by a random draw! And another problem comes quickly : if up to the end of high school the level has lowered, the college level, with more students, is more difficult than when I was there. The result is that a lot of teens do 1 or 2 1st year of college, and leave it without anything. As it was possible for you to do it, I think you made the best choice for your kids. You can enjoy time with them and help them, even direct a bit their future choices for their lives.
1 person likes this
@youless (87160)
• Guangzhou, China
24 Oct
I don't know what to say. As I know compare to Chinese children, French children are still very lucky. Here the study time is longer and heavier. Now my son is a grade 8 student and everyday he leaves home at 6:30am and he will go home at about 6pm. And he still have classes in Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon And some students may even have more classes in spare time
1 person likes this
@topffer (30685)
• France
24 Oct
It seems that there are more classes in Asian countries. The tendency in Western countries since 30 years has been to reduce the number of hours/week and to add more breaks during the school years. I have read that China has the best high school students in the world, so your method may be the best.
1 person likes this
@youless (87160)
• Guangzhou, China
24 Oct
@topffer No, actually I really don't think so. The Chinese students need more exercises and breaks instead. Suffering high pressure is not a good thing for children. When I see some foreign students complain about their school, they just don't know how lucky they are. Try to study in China and they will understand which is much more difficult
1 person likes this
@topffer (30685)
• France
24 Oct
@youless Breaks are good and needed for young children. Teens in our high schools have less hours of classes than yours, and I think they would be able to survive with less holidays during the school year. We should ask their opinion to people having tested both Chinese and Western system of education. Children of expats have to adapt anyways.
1 person likes this
@BelleStarr (32085)
• Portland, Connecticut
20 Oct
In defense of working parents, it is not easy to find care for your children and are the employers going to give mothers or fathers two weeks off to care for their children? Does the government provide daycare? We have equally long school days and during the fall term, we have only single days off for national holidays and the extra day at Thanksgiving. I would not be pleased to have to find daycare for 2 weeks every 7 weeks. When one isn't a parent, one sees things differently, these are not bad parents, these are parents who have a job. Stay home moms or dads have the time to spend with their children when they are on these two-week breaks but working parents don't. And multiple studies have shown that children of working parents are just as happy and turn out just as well. In the US, most people only take a two-week vacation every year, that is all we get paid for in many cases and personal time off is not mandated.
1 person likes this
@topffer (30685)
• France
20 Oct
We have by law 5 weeks of paid holidays/year, but many companies and territorial collectivities are giving 1 or 2 weeks more. Even more might be discussed in a work contract, at least for executive, taking holidays is not a taboo in France, and nobody forgets to take them. For daycare, there are a lot of activity centers for children in cities and they are very cheap. The price depends of the income of the parents, but cannot exceed 10 Euros/day for the richest parents. When you know that every 7 weeks, there are 2 weeks of school holidays, it is possible to find something interesting for them to do in one of these centers long before the date. They usually do not take children before 5 years old ; the kindergarten are closed during holidays, so if there is no nursery in the company of one of the parents, they have to pay a baby sitter or a preschool assistant for their young children. It is certainly more difficult in the countryside than in cities.
1 person likes this
@BelleStarr (32085)
• Portland, Connecticut
24 Oct
@topffer Here Daycare centers charge hundreds of dollars a week, it is a serious strain on working families. I know the France is much more generous to employees and families than the United States
1 person likes this
@topffer (30685)
• France
24 Oct
@BelleStarr But we pay more taxes
1 person likes this
@RubyHawk (21393)
• Atlanta, Georgia
21 Oct
If I understand you correctly even high schools students have less than 6 hours of school per day. Our kids go longer with less holiday time. I can understand when parents can't afford baby sitters but I can't believe your schools have shorter hours than ours. Did I read you wrong?
1 person likes this
@topffer (30685)
• France
21 Oct
High schools have 28 hours/week of classes dispatched from Mondays to Saturdays. On Wednesdays and Saturdays there are classes only during the morning. The schedule depends of the options chosen by a student, they can have days with 2 hours and days with 8 hours...
1 person likes this
@RubyHawk (21393)
• Atlanta, Georgia
21 Oct
@topffer Our kids don't have school on Saturday or Sunday but go six hours the other five days.
1 person likes this
@Daljinder (19889)
• India
20 Oct
Hold that thought! Are you saying that kids get only two weeks holidays in the WHOLE year? May I assume that Saturday and Sundays are also off days? Please say yes! . Here we have 6 hours of school each day (5-6 days a week) for the elementary, secondary and senior secondary. Only play schools / creche are for 3 hours
1 person likes this
@topffer (30685)
• France
20 Oct
They have 7 weeks of classes followed by 2 weeks of holidays during the school year : 2 weeks in October, 2 weeks in December, 2 weeks in March or April for Easter, plus 2 months of holidays in summer (July and August). In elementary school they work 6 hours/day on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Some schools have chosen to work only 5 hours/day on these days, but they work 4 hours on Saturday morning. In high schools they have less hours, but they can be on Wednesday morning or Saturday morning for some pupils. A lot less hours than in your country ! If you are interested by the job, we lack of teachers in high schools.
1 person likes this
@Daljinder (19889)
• India
23 Oct
@topffer Yeah definitely less hours
1 person likes this
@kepweng (6388)
11 Dec
how old are you Why you have No kids??
1 person likes this
@topffer (30685)
• France
11 Dec
I have always preferred pets to kids.
@Susan2015 (18707)
• United States
21 Oct
Over here it seems like the kids get a lot of time off now. We used to have longer days if I remember correctly when I was in school. And I don't remember getting off all the days they do now.
1 person likes this
@topffer (30685)
• France
22 Oct
I had also less holidays during the school year, but more in summer. Many countries have spreaded the holidays during the school year to find a balance more healthy for children. All parents are not pleased about that here.
@JESSY3236 (5066)
• United States
20 Oct
I agree. Holidays were great when you are a kid. School is hard everywhere.
1 person likes this
@topffer (30685)
• France
20 Oct
So true, I have never been bored during holidays.
1 person likes this
@sabtraversa (9885)
• Italy
20 Oct
When I was a kid I didn't care about going on vacation, I just wanted to stay home and avoid school. Two weeks of holidays every two months or so, that sounds fantastic! I'm quite envious of modern children: I went to a toys store with my boyfriend today, there were so many toys I wish were available back then. But if they were, my family couldn't afford most of them, I guess.
1 person likes this